In perpetual motion

In perpetual motion
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A close look at Vacheron Constantin’s new 2022 releases that include two stunning perpetual calendar watches

The world of women’s watches, sometimes underestimated, includes an array of impressive technical creations as well as stylish pieces dictated by fashion trends. Vacheron Constantin in particular has an impressive archive of ladies' timepieces that tell a compelling story of changing tastes and times.

The 20th century, especially, saw a few intriguing horological marvels, including Art Deco-inspired jewellery watches like the 1923 Montre avec cadran hexagonal (white gold wristwatch with a hexagonal dial). With time, the styles changed — from geometric shapes to softer, curved lines, and from “secret” watches with a concealed time display to a sportier aesthetic. Beauty is no longer enough — women want technically superior watches too.

For 2022, Vacheron Constantin is releasing two women’s watches that celebrate both form and function. The new Traditionnelle perpetual calendar has two references. Powered by the in- house Calibre 1120 QP — an ultra-thin movement that has set records since the 1950s and is visible through the sapphire caseback — the perpetual calendar shows the day of the week, date, a 48-month display with leap year indication, moonphase indication and, of course, the time. This piece is perfectly equipped for the modern woman on the go.

As the Traditionnelle has a Hallmark of Geneva certification, the Côtes de Genève motif is visible on the mainplate and the oscillating weight that features a 22-carat gold segment. The piece, 36.5mm in diameter and 8.43mm thick, sits perfectly on the wrist. It is available in an 18-carat white gold case, with hour-markers and hands set against a classy blue-grey dial, or an 18-carat 5N pink gold case, with an opulent white mother-of-pearl dial.

Taking its aesthetic over the top are 76 round-cut diamonds set on the bezel and lugs, and one round-cut diamond adorning the crown. The Traditionnelle perpetual calendar ultra-thin comes complete with matching Mississippiensis alligator straps with a comfortable calfskin leather inner shell (in blue-grey or rosy beige), that also have 18-carat gold buckles set with 17 round-cut diamonds. These straps have the added benefit of an integrated self- interchangeable system, which means they can be replaced without tools, at the touch of a push-button.

The other entry by Vacheron Constantin is the new Patrimony self-winding, whose predecessors championed minimalist and refined designs. In line with its history, the new timepiece has precise and clean details, but also exudes an elegance of its own. Like the Traditionnelle, it is available in two colour variants. However, there are four references.

In terms of hues, the choice is between an 18-carat white gold case with a deep blue dial and an 18-carat 5N pink gold case with a blush pink dial; both with a gradient effect that is lighter at the centre and darker towards the edge.

The gem setting for the Patrimony comes in two variations: For a more understated sparkle, the 48 round-cut diamonds sit on a circular- grained minutes track, or if you would rather have a statement piece, choose the reference with a circular “pearl” minute-track composed of 48 polished 18-carat gold pearls and a dazzling bezel set with 72 round-cut diamonds.

Sweeping across these slightly convex dials are leaf-shaped hands that add a certain elegance to the overall composition. Inside the 36.5mm dial is the Calibre 2450 Q6/3, which has a 40-hour power reserve. The movement also powers the date display at six o’clock. Like the Traditionnelle, the Patrimony has Mississippiensis alligator leather straps with a satin effect in night blue or rosy beige that are integrated with the self- interchangeable system.

True to the essence of Vacheron Constantin, both watches are designed to suit the tastes of the contemporary and modern woman, be it someone who is always on the move or a woman who prefers a minimalist aesthetic. These pieces also perfectly represent the horologer’s theme for 2022, The Anatomy of Beauty, which is all about attention to detail. From the fine guilloché work to the gem-set minutes track, it is these carefully crafted characteristics that emphasise how nothing is left to chance for an exceptional Vacheron Constantin timepiece.

Another contender in the Traditionnelle range, the Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph will have a limited annual production. What makes this piece truly unique is the combination of a platinum case with a salmon dial. Vacheron Constantin is known for its Collection Excellence Platine, which is a range of limited-edition pieces crafted from the special metal, platinum. So, the use of this material with the salmon dial — a colour that is a throwback to classical watchmaking and elegance — is a truly remarkable creation that brings together the old and the new.

But seeing as we are exploring the highlight pieces of 2022, it would be remiss to leave out the men completely, right?

Another contender in the Traditionnelle range, the Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph will have a limited annual production. What makes this piece truly unique is the combination of a platinum case with a salmon dial. Vacheron Constantin is known for its Collection Excellence Platine, which is a range of limited-edition pieces crafted from the special metal, platinum. So, the use of this material with the salmon dial — a colour that is a throwback to classical watchmaking and elegance — is a truly remarkable creation that brings together the old and the new.

Driving the numerous functions of this watch — which include hours, minutes, small seconds, 30-minute chronograph counter, day of the week, date, month, leap year indication and moonphase display — is the manual-winding Calibre 1142 QP. This is a popular historic calibre that dates back to the 1940s, and the perpetual calendar version has been improved over time (gaining a Hallmark of Geneva certification) and now has a power reserve of 48 hours. The powerful movement can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, where the Côtes de Genève motif on the bridges is also visible.

This grand complication watch has a few noteworthy details, from the Dauphine-type hands to the railway-type minutes track. The salmon-coloured opaline dial is certainly a standout feature, and each subdial is made distinct with circular brushed rings with a finely snailed centre, a technique also used on the circumference of the watch where the date numerals are displayed. The moonphase display also has this brushed effect on the outer ring, but what makes it truly special is the platinum disc with a smiling or melancholy moon, which pays tribute to 19th-century table watches. At 12 o’clock sits the Maltese cross, made special as it is a relief and faceted version.

The 43mm platinum case of the Traditionnelle perpetual calendar chronograph sits comfortably on the wrist with the help of an alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. Complete with 18-carat white gold applied hour-markers as well as hour and minute hands, blued steel chronograph and date hands, and a painted tachymeter scale in black, this timepiece is one to behold.

Perpetual calendars are incredible timepieces that dazzle the eye with their complexity and are just as easy to use while you are out and about. The Traditionnelle collection explores new colour schemes and aesthetics to appeal to the modern man or woman. Whether you’re drawn to the sparkling gems that adorn the ladies' pieces or the throwback colour scheme of the chronograph, Vacheron Constantin has your watch needs covered.